Tag Archive: Wedding Inspiration

Apr 17 2014

Wedding: My David’s Bridal Experience

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I am not one of those girls that has had my wedding dress picked out for years, but even I have fallen for the beauty of Vera Wang, but unfortunately my bank balance doesn’t appreciate the price tag. So instead of torturing myself by falling in love with a dress I couldn’t afford I went and tried on the next best thing – White by Vera Wang her affordable collection at David’s Bridal.

Since I got engaged a couple of months ago I knew that wanted to experience David’s Bridal, not only do they have Vera Wang, but they also recently launched a collection with Zac Posen, which I love, and the price is amazing. I tried on about 10 dresses and not one was over £1,200, which is amazing as nearly all the other dresses in my search have been a lot more than that.

The beauty of David’s Bridal other than the price and the designer collaborations has to be the choice available at the American retailer’s Westfield Stratford store. The rails of dresses are never-ending and filled with so many different styles, silhouettes and fabrics to basically suit any wedding – whether you are getting married in a church, outside, at a registry office, in a country hotel or on a beach – plus most dresses come in US sizes 4-30 so something for everyone.

To be honest this choice can be a little overwhelming especially when you are asked to pick out the five you like, I think I had an initial shortlist of about 20, as there is no such thing as an ugly wedding dress. But what I did love about David’s Bridal is that they offer more than just the traditional white and ivory gowns, I finally got to try on pink, grey and blush coloured gowns I have been looking for.

What I will say is the experience at David’s Bridal is different from traditional bridal boutiques, with the choice means it is less private when trying on. You do get your own personal consultant, but you also have to share the floor with other brides, I went on a Friday afternoon and there were four brides, all with family and friends, and it felt a little bit like I was under the spotlight – everyone had an opinion on the dresses I had on. Everyone was nice, but at other places it was just my Mum and I, which made it easier to critique the dresses and narrow it down.

The dresses themselves were gorgeous, I wanted to take each Vera Wang gown I wore on home they were so beautiful, the grey one, priced at £875 was one of my favourites the texture of the chiffon was perfection and so different to everything else I had tried on. The only problem with a lot of the gowns was they were nearly all strapless, a style I just didn’t want, so it does take a lot of imagination to visualise them with straps added.

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As well as falling in love with Vera Wang I also tried on the entire Zac Posen collection, because why the hell not, I love that the collection really marries traditional bridal beauty with a touch of red carpet glamour, while staying within my budget. The ballgown was divine, the detailing on the bodice was just gorgeous, but it was the fit-and-flare gown with corset detailing and the pleated tulle skirt that really took my breath away. Not only was it a great colour, I love this purple-grey shade, but I also adore the bow detailing on the back, and how it made my body look – my only wish was that I was able to sit down in it.

I have to be honest I had a great time at David’s Bridal it was such a fun experience, the variety and choice had me as giddy as a child, OK me in a candy shop, and I loved that they encourage you take pictures. I just wish it had been a little more private, it was really busy and sharing a mirror with another bride-to-be didn’t make me feel special. I also wish my assistant had more knowledge about alterations and vision about what could be changed on the dress to make it perfect for me.

If you have a limited budget, a tight deadline, and want a designer dress without the price tag then David’s Bridal will suit you, there really is something for everyone, but if you are after a more personal experience and looking to customise your gown then I think a traditional boutique might be more what you are after. But don’t discount David’s Bridal gowns just because they are a huge chain as the quality and the fashion-forward styles of the dresses really surprised me.

If only I could wear all the wedding dresses I have fallen in love with on this search!!!

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David’s Bridal, Westfield Stratford - www.davidsbridal.co.uk

Apr 14 2014

Wedding: I Have Said YES To My Dress

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It is a daunting task searching for ‘the’ wedding dress, I have to be honest the process scared the hell out me. I think it because you have lots of things running through your head – from excitement to dread, to the realisation that you are actually getting married, to worrying that you won’t find anything that fits or that makes you look beautiful.

The stress kind of drifts away when you actual get to the bridal boutique and spot a gown you love. Then questions like can I afford it, will it look good in 10 years time in the wedding photographs, will I be comfortable all day long, and will I still love it in 6 months time when it finally comes in – to be honest if you have to ask yourself these questions for too long, I don’t think you have found the ‘one’.

It is a hard choice, come on it is rare that a wedding dress isn’t pretty, OK sometimes it might not suit you, but never is it not beautiful, and wearing something gorgeous can make it hard to say no to. It is moments like this where your bridal salon really needs to step in and steer you in the right direction. I went to about 6 salons in total both in London and around the Cambridge area where I live and I have to say that half were dreadful. It is why I really need to stress don’t just do research on the dresses you like but also on where to shop, ask your friends where they went, who do your wedding venue recommend and check out reviews on bridal forums – trust me finding a great boutique will save you time, probably money and make it more enjoyable.

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I am not an expert in how to make wedding dress shopping perfect, but I can tell you a few tips that I picked up from my experience, which was probably a little more rushed than most brides-to-be as for some reason I didn’t realise that the lead-time was so long, some designers need up to 9 months to get your dress to you.

Underwear: Don’t try on dresses in full on Spanks, maybe you feel that you need it but most dresses come with their own support inside and if you are going for dresses that suit your silhouette you probably won’t need anyway. Just go for a nude strapless bra and comfortable knickers, I think a thong might scare the bridal assistant. I would also suggest going for a bra fitting before you go so you are wearing the right bra size.

Make-up: Don’t go overboard, try to go as natural as possible, while still feeling and looking pretty. This can be hard, it was for me, but some salons might ask you take it off so you don’t damage any of the dresses. I saw a bride-to-be who got fake tan all over a dress she was trying on and the salon was not amused. Unless you say yes to the dress on your first visit you can always return with a little more make-up and extra special hair to really get a wedding day feel when you try on your dress for the second time.

Honesty: If you don’t have a set idea on what you want tell them what you definitely don’t want. I felt like I knew what I didn’t want more than what I did and it really helped the consultant find me dresses that would work for me. Also be aware that your consultant isn’t going to be offended if you don’t like the dress, don’t just yes to them all, I found by saying what I loved, what I didn’t like, and what I wish it had really helped narrow down the selection.

Don’t Worry: This is hard, especially if you have tried on 10 dresses and not found anything you like, trust me if there is a dress out there for me, there is for you as well. I found that with each dress I tried on the more I realised what I wanted and I just needed to track it down. Worrying can also come with having a set dress in mind and it not looking good on, go in with an open mind, ask your consultant to pull something that she thinks would look good, and try to enjoy the experience.

Sit, Shimmy & Walk: This might sound silly but make sure that you sit down in your dress, dance a little bit, and go for a walk around the boutique. I found a great dress that I couldn’t sit down in and unless you are standing all day long it isn’t very practical. I also found walking around made me spot other things I loved or didn’t like about the dress, the way the sparkle caught the light, the detailing on the back, or that it felt too heavy, some dresses are uncomfortable to walk and dance in.

Price: Tell them your budget before you try on any dresses, trying on a dress way out of your price range and falling in love with it can be heartbreaking. Also take in to account alterations, nearly all dresses will need some adjustment whether the hem, the train or to nip in a little at the bust, ask the salon for prices. Also don’t be afraid to ask if there are any discounts, they can only say no, but the dress you like might be available at a trunk show at a later date so might be worth waiting. I would also suggest calling around to other stockists as I found my dress was priced differently everywhere I tried it on.

Trust Your Own Opinion: Having friends and family with you to make the decision is great, they can really help narrow the shortlist, but at the end of the day you will be the one wearing it all day – your opinion, whether you a paying for it or not is the most important. I also think too many people makes it more difficult. I actually went just with my mum and shared a few pics with my closest friends, but in the end I made the final decision.

Surprise: When you have found the ‘one’ you will want to tell everyone which beauty you have picked, don’t, I think it spoils the surprise of the day especially if they are joining you on your special day. It is hard keeping it a secret, I am even keeping all the customisations to my dress a surprise for my Mum, I really want it to be a special moment when she sees it on the day. I promise come November when I get married I will share pics of my dress but for now all I will say is that it has an Old Hollywood glamour about it.

My biggest tip for wedding dress shopping is to enjoy yourself, it really is a wonderful moment, tiring and draining – those dresses are heavy, but the most fun ever and when you find the ‘one’ you won’t stop smiling.

Still looking for inspiration before shopping? Why not check out my wedding dress inspiration board on Pinterest.
Follow Fashionista Barbie Danielle Wightman-Stone’s board Wedding Dress Inspiration on Pinterest.

Mar 20 2014

Wedding Inspiration: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection

HM Conscious 1 Wedding Inspiration: H&M Conscious Exclusive Collection %tagThis week I have been pre-occupied with my own wedding dress shopping, hitting the boutiques, twirling in David’s Bridal, and talking to designers on a few custom options – but one place I hadn’t considered was the high street. This isn’t because I don’t think there is anything I would like, I am sure for my untraditional wedding there probably is, but I think like most brides-to-be I just dismissed it without even considering – well the lookbook for H&M’s new Conscious Exclusive collection, in collaboration with the sustainable fashion and design think-tank EVER Manifesto, will have a lot of people thinking otherwise.

I am not suggesting that these dresses are worthy of a full-on church wedding, I am thinking more registry offices, destination weddings, as well as city elopements. The gown that had me gushing, as well as a making me a little jealous that I had already sorted my New York gown out, has to be the exquisite tiered Organic cotton floor-length gown with lace detailing – it is simply gorgeous and at 399 Euros this will add drama to anyone’s big day without breaking the bank.

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For a beach wedding, or even a dress to slip into for the reception I love this long-sleeved lace beauty with its high neckline and scallop-edge detailing for 179 Euros, it really makes a statement with the added cape-style necklace made from recycled plastic for 129 Euros.

After non-traditional white, well the collection delivers, how about a striking midnight blue lace-effect gown with a dip-hemline for 199 Euros or the floaty nude ruffle gown that is perfect for a tropical wedding and at 149 Euros it is a bargain price.

It just shows that you might have to look in the most unlikely places to find your perfect wedding dress, if you fancy one of these keep April 10 free as the collection rolls out across 150 selected H&M stores worldwide, think the major flagships, as well as online.

I really love this collection, I think I might have to try on that gorgeous tiered lace wedding gown – those T-shirt style sleeves are cute.

What are you thoughts on wearing a H&M wedding gown?

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Feb 22 2014

Wedding Inspiration: How About Rita Ora’s Marchesa Gown

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I am on the hunt at the moment for my wedding gown - I have been scouring wedding magazines, Brides.com’s extensive bridal galleries, and ever real wedding blog I can find to get inspiration on what would work on my big day. It was only earlier this week after seeing Rita Ora hit the red carpet at the ELLE Style Awards that I realised that you can take a lot from the red carpet gowns that your favourite celebrities wear.

This show-stopping white floor-length gown from Marchesa’s autumn/winter 2014 collection is gorgeous with its intricate embroidered body and its layered tulle skirt that it feels like it would be better suited to walking down the aisle than a red carpet.

As always Rita looks gorgeous and wears it well but I think this gown is more bridal than award ceremony that I thought it might inspire other future brides-to-be out there that you don’t have to look in the traditional places to find wedding dress inspiration.

Think about your shape, the silhouette you are after, and then find your favourite celebrities working the same looks – this could be great inspiration to share with your local wedding boutique when you are trying on gowns.

What do you think – would you wear a gown like this Marchesa to your wedding?

[Pic: courtesy of ELLE Style Awards]

Feb 04 2014

Wedding Inspiration: Zac Posen’s Debut Bridal Collection

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Tulle Ball gown with veiled corset bodice of Chantilly lace and draped tulle, featuring an embroidered Chantilly illusion neckline and Mikado bow belt – £1,295

One of the most important things about any bride’s wedding has to be the dress, and I am finding that it is already the most stressful part. I haven’t tried on any styles yet, I am still at the magazine and Pinterest collecting stage, but as soon as I knew I was getting married this year I have been excited to see Zac Posen’s debut bridal collection for US store David’s Bridal, Truly by Zac Posen, and it is divine.

As well as being gorgeous, just check out the tulle ball gown above with Chantilly lace and an illusion neckline, seriously dreamy, it is also super affordable at £1,195 – lower than the average price brides pay for their dress of £1,500 and it really does have that wow factor.

The collection features 7 bridal gowns to choose from, showcasing  bold silhouettes and whimsical colours – from a satin fit-and-flare gown with corset detailing and embellishments to a champagne-coloured tulle dress with a featherweight lace overlay. Then there are 10 occasion dresses that would make any bridesmaids day from classic floor-sweeping styles to elegant strapless cocktail dresses in black and midnight blue.

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Satin fit and flare gown with corset seaming, touches of rich crystals on bodice and straps, featuring a dramatic pleated tulle skirt – £1,195

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Crinkle Chiffon deep V-neck gown with satin covered buttons and sheer lace back – £195

There are so many gorgeous options and with prices starting at just £125 I think David’s Bridal in Westfield Stratford is going to be inundated with requests to try on these beauties, especially as most are available in sizes 0 to 26 – this collection really is for every woman!!!

We’ve been missing somewhere like David’s Bridal in the UK, I have already fallen in love with one of their dresses designed by Vera Wang, and now I have added at least four of these beauties to my very long list of dresses I need to try on. I just love that they are fashionable, affordable, and not just in traditional white – the portobello grey is a beautiful colour. But most  importantly they have the wow factor that every bride is looking for.

The collection will be available at David’s Bridal from February 6, with prices ranging from £125 to £1,295. I can’t wait to try on dresses from this collection.

Which dresses are your favourites?

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Strapless Duchess Satin fit & flare gown with veiled tulle bodice, geometric seaming, lace appliques, and back Duchess Satin cascade with dramatic tulle train – £1,095

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Veiled corded lace fit and flare gown with corseted bodice detailing and Chantilly lace flutter sleeves – £1,195

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Strapless Satin Fit and Flare Gown with corset seam detailing and body contouring pleats – £195

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Taffeta fit and flare gown with corset seaming, touches of rich crystals on bodice and straps, featuring a dramatic pleated tulle skirt – £1,195

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Satin fit and flare gown of Duchess Satin with corseted back, geometric seaming with topstitch detailing, and rich pearl embellishment at neckline – £795

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ace short slim sheath with back double spaghetti detail and leaf motif beading – £175

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Corset Inspired Satin Bodice over a skirt of layered, pleated net – £175

[Pics: Truly by Zac Posen exclusively at David's Bridal]

Jan 23 2014

Wedding Inspiration: The Couture Bride

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I love checking out the couture collections from Paris, as I am always in awe at the craftsmanship that goes into each piece, and I adore that no gown is too big when it comes to couture. Normally for the spring shows I am pairing up beautiful gowns with gorgeous actresses and hoping that they will wear on the Oscars red carpet, this year however being surrounded with wedding magazines getting inspiration for my own gown I thought I would share some couture bride inspiration.

Top of my wishlist, if I won the lottery, would have to be getting a wedding dress designed by Elie Saab, this man is a genius and his spring 2014 collection was another stunning scene of decadent elegance, gown after gown was just beautiful and the bridal moments were stunning.

The final gown above literally took my breath away when I was watching the live-stream, everything from the off-white hue to the exquisite embroidered detailing and voluminous silhouette – simply stunning. Just imagine how magical it would be to wear a dress like this on your wedding day, you could rest assured that no-one would be stealing your spotlight!!!

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As well as Elie Saab, the ethereal musical Valentino gown really caught my eye, so it doesn’t scream traditional bridal gown but there is something about that I think would work for a wedding, especially if you have a love of music.

Other gorgeous dresses that I loved included Dior’s simple-yet-modern gown with its textured perforation dot design, the statement peplum gown from Alexis Mabille’s exquisite collection, and the delicate lace embroidered Valentino gown that will never go out of fashion. Also how divine is this heavily embellished white gown by Georges Hobeika – so swoon worthy!!!

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As well as the divine, couture weeks also showcases the flamboyant and more out-there of pieces, including some that could work for some very confident brides. How about the showgirl look from Jean Paul Gaultier or how about walking down the aisle in Stéphane Rolland’s white jumpsuit with wings?

If you won the lottery – which Couture bride would you be?

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Jan 10 2014

Wedding Inspiration: Would You Wear A Jumpsuit On Your Big Day?

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I said from the start, like two weeks ago, that I didn’t want to go for a traditional wedding gown – don’t get me wrong I still want to make a statement and be a pretty bride but I don’t think a long flowing train and veil is right for a New York City Hall wedding – so what about a jumpsuit as a fun alternative?

So jumpsuits have been getting a lot of love over the past couple of years on the red carpet, I have often gushed how Diane Kruger and Rose Byrne have made a jumpsuit look gorgeous – but I never thought that the trend would make its way into bridal fashion.

Well J.Crew have decided to mix things up with their Eyelash Lace Jumpsuit (£750), made in a delicate lace with bow details and sheer sleeves to add a touch of femininity to the look. They also do a short shimmering sequinned romper if you decided that the jumpsuit is for you but you would rather show off your fabulous pins.

For a registry office, city hall elopement, or just for a quirky bride I think this look might work – and it does really marry the ‘I do’ and the party aspect of a wedding perfectly – but I don’t think this trend is for me.

What do you think would you wear a jumpsuit on your big day? 

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Shop J.Crew’s bridal collection:

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[Pics: J.Crew]

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